Beanie Bag November 2015

Today’s post is my review of Jimmy Beans Wool Beanie Bag for the month of November. Once again, I have not been paid, nor received my bag for free in exchange for this review. These are my personal thoughts and feelings after having paid for my bag. If you’re interested in getting a Beanie Bag of your own, click here to open a new window to JBW’s site.

November’s bag was very similar to October’s, with the addition of printing on the back of the bag as well.

Same Design, different color.
Same Design, different color.
This month, the back got some printing, too!
This month, the back got some printing, too!

Note that the material is still the same, which I like. The zipper is also the same, which I didn’t. The printing on the back was a cute touch, I felt, and while I’ve not tested it, I’m sure water-soluble ink would allow you to change up what boxes you check off.

Everything in November's bag.
Everything in November’s bag.

November’s bag came with 4 samples, a sample of Soak in their Scentless formula, a pinkish-purple plastic tapestry needle, and the postcard with further info as to what’s inside. I don’t know if I pointed it out with last month’s bag, but each bag comes with a slip of paper telling you which employee wound your samples. I thought that was a nice touch.

The back of November's postcard.
The back of November’s postcard.

This month’s card (as you can see) also touches a bit upon holding different yarn weights double or triple to give you more options when knitting. This is something I enjoy doing as it gives you further options to yarn blends and colors when you use two at once.

Overall, November’s bag was very similar to October’s. I wasn’t particularly wowed by it, but I figured I’d give one more shot. After all, they say third time’s the charm!

Beanie Bag October 2015

This was the first Beanie Bag that JBW did. It came in a zippered pouch approx the size of a pencil pouch. The pouch itself is sewn from a rough cotton. Similar to a tote bag, but much more supple. The zipper is a bit rough to open and close and the teeth on it are rather rough.

The first Beanie Bag
The first Beanie Bag
The Card
The Card

Inside there were 4 samples of yarn. The card inside listed the yarn companies for each of the samples, but no indication of which sample was from which company. Also included on the card was a pattern for a knit cuff or a crochet wristlet.

Here is everything that came in the October bag.
Here is everything that came in the October bag.

In addition to the samples, there was also a small envelope containing 2 stitch markers, 3 mother of pearl buttons, and a small sticker.

Those buttons are as beautiful and delicate as they look.
Those buttons are as beautiful and delicate as they look.

In fairness, while I was not overwhelmed, I did not feel like I was slighted in any way. Honestly my two biggest complaints for this bag were the zipper and the not knowing which sample corresponded to which brand. I figured the first month or so they would be finding their footing and the bags could only go up from here!

As you’ll see in the next few posts, I was right and I’m really glad I stuck with them through the first few bags. Have a great weekend everyone!

Mystery Bags!

I’ve been wracking my brain for MONTHS now for a good post (or series of posts) for you, my faithful readers. First of all, thanks for sticking around. It means the world to me!

SO! While I was doing laundry last night (for some reason, laundry will often lead me to good ideas) I thought about my Jimmy Beans Wool Beanie Bags. So, beginning this week I’ll be reviewing the 5 bags I’ve received so far. After that, this will become a once a month thing!

NOTE: I have purchased these with my own money. Jimmy Beans Wool has not in any way, shape, or form paid for or compensated for my honest reviews.

Now, I’ve been a sucker for a mystery bag my whole life. Give me a price point and the chance of something I like, and most likely I’ll jump at the offer. So when Jimmy Beans announced these bags back in September I figured “What the hell? Why not?”

So, come back tomorrow and I’ll show you my first Beanie Bag as well as my thoughts on the set up as a whole! 🙂

The Next Generation

It has often saddened me that, up to this point, neither of my boys have been interested in learning to knit. I keep offering, never pushing, just letting them know it’s an option. Fingers are crossed that eventually one of them takes me up on the offer!

In the meantime, I have taught a friend to knit. She’s currently working on her third project, a blanket. She’s coming along swimmingly and I can’t wait to see her fabulous project! 😀

Today I have the wonderful kids of one of my oldest and best friends with me. The older of the two is interested in blogging. What better way for her to see what goes into a blog post than to write one about her and her brother’s visit!

These two are no strangers to my knitting. For Tori I’ve knit her a blue hat and a stripey hat, both of which look lovely on her! For her baby brother I’ve knit a newborn hat and his Blankie (aka TT).  As if having more small people to knit for isn’t an awesome gift (which it is. The smaller the object the faster it goes, you know!) now I know that in just a few years I *will* get to pass on my skills to Tori. And I couldn’t be happier than if it were one of my boys.

Knitting, sewing, crocheting, cross stitch, these are all skills that have been passed down from one generation to the next. Getting to take part in the passing down of knowledge is one of the best things in life, to me.

What about you, wonderful friends? Who’ve you passed your knowledge on to? How did it make you feel? Let me know in the comments and I’ll see you next week!


Everything in life has milestones. First steps, first day of school, first date, and on it goes. Today, over on the Facebook page, I realized that Knittin With Kittens is close to a milestone of its own as well as just passing another.

It’s been a year now that KwK has been around. Thank you, first and foremost, to everyone who wanders over to my corner of the internet. It means a lot to know that there are others out there who take time out of their day to read my thoughts and tutorials.

The upcoming milestone is that we’re close to 100 likes! This is a milestone that I had hoped to reach, but didn’t think it would be within a year! If you haven’t taken a peek at the Facebook page, I encourage you to. That’s where I post links to articles about knitting as well as knitting memes.

In honor of the many milestones of life, blogging, and knitting, my next tutorial post will be my favorite method of joining in the round. Figuring this out was a major milestone for me. 🙂

First Fiber Festival

This past weekend was Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, affectionately known as MDSW by its many vendors and attendees. This was my first ever festival, and it’s pretty big in the world of fiber enthusiasts. What can I say? My motto tends to be go big or go home!

There were LOTS of things I did over my weekend, so I will start with the first thing I watched once we got to the grounds. A sheep shearing demonstration. What was absolutely amazing about this demo is that the shearer did NOT use electric shears, but hand-powered shears. While he sheared another professional shearer answered questions and explained what they do and how it benefits the sheep. Here are a few of the pictures taken by me and the group of friends I went with. (More on them and what else we saw Thursday!)

Shearing by Hand

Shearing Done Shearing the sheep. The sheep didn’t make a peep!Full Coat

The full pelt after being sheared. From here it needs to be carded and spun before it can be knit or crocheted with.

Sheep backs

These guys were happily chomping on grass. They were so fluffy!Sheep

Here’s another little guy. He had already been shorn and had a blanket to keep him comfy in the drafty barn.

Sheep TrimmingThis guy was actually just getting trimmed, not sheared. He was super patient for the whole process, though.


So Close!

I’m so close I can almost taste it! The Gansey Wristers that I started the day before Thanksgiving are just 10 rows from being done!

In case you were wondering, that’s where I’ve been. Working (at a pace so slow that snails look like Formula 1 cars) on these mitts. I told myself no new projects, no cross stitching, no working on crochet, and no letting myself be distracted by anything I could use to procrastinate.

It’s not that I dislike the pattern. I really do like it. I enjoy the yarn I’m working with. The needle size is the range I’m most comfortable with (between 1 and 4) so that’s not why. Much like trying to get my kids to clean their rooms, I’m just ready for the next shiny thing.

On the plus side, this means you’ll be hearing from me more. Next blog post will show my favorite method for joining in the round! 🙂

Best Laid Plans, etc.

So, if you’ll remember back in November I wrote that this year I would absolutely NOT be knitting ANY presents? (If you don’t go read this first. Go ahead. I’ll wait.) Yeah, well joke’s on me.

It started out innocently enough. I decided I’d knit two pair of the super popular Manly Mitts for my husband’s company party gift swap. As 3 pairs had been requested (and received) by his coworkers, and it’s a quick and easy knit, I figured this would be simple enough.

Then I decided to knit 2 cup cozies for my youngest son’s PreK teachers as Christmas presents. Those were done in one long and sleepy night as I’d decided to do them a day before the last day of class.

Before all those, though, there was the cowl I knit for a friend. And the mitts I’m knitting for another friend. Said mitts are about 1/4 of the way done. Plus the thing I’m knitting for my mom, which I haven’t even cast on for yet. Oh! And the mitts I’m making for one of my youngest’s school friends.

I asked my husband the other night if I’d done the same thing last year. Apparently, yes, I had. And I’m sure I’ll do something similar next year. That’s ok because as the saying goes “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry” and if me driving myself slightly crazier is my awry, well I’ll take it. 🙂

What last minute knitting are you trying to accomplish in the next 15 days? Let me know!

Perfection is NOT the goal

When I first started knitting (any of the times, because it happened EVERY time) I would knit for a few rows, find a mistake or twelve, get frustrated that it wasn’t “perfect” and quit. It took me much too long to realize that perfection is NOT the goal.

The goal is to make something. The closer to the pattern/idea the happier I am, I’ll admit. Attempting to make anything by hand and have it be perfect, though? That way lies madness.

Much like people, all the best handcrafted items have some sort of flaw. And if we’re 100% honest, the maker is the ONLY person that notices the “flaw”. I’ve seen more than one post on social media that is a picture of a finished object with the maker asking “How obvious is my screw up?” and I can tell you that even after scrutiny I can NEVER find it.

So, quit trying to make it “perfect” because nobody is perfect. Make what you love in the manner that makes you happy. And know that you have flaws (which aren’t negative) so your crafted item should have at least one, too. That way it’s an accurate reflection of your beauty out in the world for others to admire.


…did October go and how are we a third of the way through November already?! I decided early on in the year this year that I would not be doing any holiday gift knitting this year. I did, though, knit this super soft and warm hat for my mother-in-law’s birthday last month! I knit her an Everglade out of a skein of Malabrigo Worsted Merino. The colorway is Alpine Pearl and it looks SMASHING on her!

Everglade Hat

I also untangled a skein of yarn for a friend. Now, I’ll admit that sometimes untangling a skein of yarn is something that makes me want to cry. Other times, I find it oddly soothing. This was one of those second times.

Before and After
Before and After

And finally! I am nearly done with my oldest current WIP. A baby blanket that I started WAY back in January. I should be done with it no later than the first of the month, when it will be sent by a awesome friend of mine to his baby nephew in New Jersey! As soon as it’s all done I’ll let you know!

What sort of excitement have y’all gotten up to while I was MIA? Let me know in the comments!

The adventures of a knitting SAHM of kids and cats

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